Welcome to The K-pop Chat, a monthly column dedicated to all things K-pop. In collaboration with the bunni pop newsletter, join writer Samantha Lui as she rolls out lists, content and interviews to keep you updated on the latest from the K-pop industry. For more K-pop content in your inboxes, subscribe to bunni pop for weekly posts.
A lot can happen in a single year, and the argument could be made that TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT for short) is having their biggest one yet.
Known for blending elements of pop, indie rock and R&B in their music, TXT have gained a beloved fanbase for singing songs about what it’s like to grow up as a young person today.
In 2023 alone, TXT released their fifth EP, The Name Chapter: Temptation in January, which then debuted on the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 list, marking their first number one in the country.
Then in March, the band hit the road on their second world tour, hitting countries including Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. And this past August, TXT became the first K-pop idol group to headline Lollapalooza alongside acts including Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar and Lana Del Rey. That performance also marked the first time a K-pop act has been asked to play at the famed Chicago music festival for a second year in a row.
This month, TXT released its third studio album The Name Chapter: Freefall on Oct. 13.
Below is a beginner’s guide to what you need to know about TXT.
Who is TOMORROW X TOGETHER?
TOMORROW X TOGETHER debuted on March 4, 2019, marking the music label Big Hit’s first group since the chart-topping band BTS.
TXT is composed of members Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun and HueningKai. Read as “tomorrow by together”, the band’s name refers to five individuals “who come together under one dream in hopes of building a better tomorrow.”
In August of that same year, TXT announced their official fandom name: Moments of Alwaysness, or MOAs for short. The name means that each and every moment shared by TXT and their fans is always and forever.
What is TXT’s music style?
While pop has remained at the core of TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s music, the group has been known to blend elements of disco, rock, hip hop and R&B in their songs. Many of TXT’s tracks revolve around the theme of being a young person today – whether it’s exploring the growing pains of adolescence and puberty, heartbreak, and the angst and uncertainty of becoming a young adult in the 21st century. In fact, their latest EP The Name Chapter: Temptation plays with the theme of Peter Pan, with the boys singing about their desire to postpone their growth and linger in the freedom of Neverland.
Five TOMORROW X TOGETHER songs to get to know the group
To understand TOMORROW X TOGETHER as a group is to go right to the very beginning. “Crown” is the single the group debuted with back in 2019. The lyrics of the song tells the story of a boy who wakes up one day with horns on his head, and begins to hate himself and withdraws from other people. He eventually comes to learn to love himself after meeting another character with wings on their back. In interviews, TXT has described the song being about the growing pains of puberty, and the track has been praised for its energetic sound and moving lyrics.
“Crown” is the perfect song to introduce the world to TXT because the group has often portrayed themselves as youthful and down-to-earth. Not to mention, the choreography is incredibly intricate and allows the group to showcase their stage presence. The song clearly resonated with TXT’s fanbase as well. “Crown” debuted at number one on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart.
Released during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic in October 2020, “Blue Hour” captured TXT’s energy and exuberance during a time when people needed joy the most. Paired with the sound of synths and rhythmic guitars, “Blue Hour” is a disco track that gets more addictive with every listen, and offers a dreamy escape from the uncertain reality of being in isolation from COVID-19.
In fact, “Blue Hour” is best experienced through a live performance as TXT delivers its most iconic dance break to date. Complete with cowboy hats and trench coats, this choreography is just so fun to watch and makes you want to join in on the dancing.
“0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)” feat. Seori
“0X1=LOVESONG” ushered in a new era for TXT, with the band moving away from cheerful and bubblegum concepts to something edgier and angstier.
Blending elements of punk rock and pop, “0X1=LOVESONG” is a banger from start to finish, and really comes alive during Taehyun’s part in the pre-chorus, where he belts “I know it’s real I can feel it.” The sheer power and rawness of his voice really adds to the drama of the song, and captures the helplessness one feels after falling in love but not being able to do anything about it.
“Good Boy Gone Bad”
Continuing with the rock band concept we saw in “0X1=LOVESONG”, TXT turned things up a notch with “Good Boy Gone Bad.” The song has the group singing about the pain and loss one feels after losing their first love. And you can hear the pure anguish as members chant “Good boy gone bad, good boy gone bad” throughout the track.
The music video for “Good Boy Gone Bad” is also a departure from the brighter images TXT has shown in past songs. Wearing dark eyeshadow, platform boots and leather pants, the members are seen dancing in a creepy cemetery to symbolize the death of innocence. Sure, it’s a bit on the nose. But who doesn’t remember the angst and sadness after your first heartbreak? We’re all entitled to a little bit of drama.
“Tinnitus (Wanna be a rock)”
Strange song title aside, “Tinnitus (Wanna be a rock)” is one of TXT’s most sonically unique tracks and the group’s first foray into the afrobeats genre. My only issue is this song is too short!
As catchy as the track is, its lyrics are actually quite profound. It has the boys singing about their dreams of being successful rockstars, despite feeling like a failure. And while they feel lost and lonely at times, music is the way to help them cope through it all.
There is truly nothing like seeing this song performed live, which I had the chance to see at Lollapalooza this past August.. Thousands of fans chanted along with the lyrics, as members swayed in synchronicity across the stage. “Tinnitus (Wanna be a rock)” was never released as an official single, but it’s since become one of TXT’s most beloved hits.